This is the one essential feature I need on my next TV and it may surprise you

There's a wishlist of features you could look for when buying a new TV but there's one that you might not have even thought of

(Image credit: TP Vision)

The current lineup of TVs on the market is impressive, with incredible resolutions, vivid colours and deep deep blacks. No matter your budget there is something out there to fit it, but if you can spend a little more, some of the flagship models will blow your mind. 

In that regard, any of the best TVs in our guide are worthy of consideration. Your choice comes to exactly how you want to use it and the unique features you desire. Gamers will be looking for that refresh rate, purists for the colour space and contrast, while those looking to future-proof might be considering 8K resolution. 

While all these are valid requests, I've discovered a new feature that transforms your watching experience. Simply by adding a series of colour-changing LEDs behind the TV, it's possible to expand your content beyond the edges of the screen and create a real atmosphere in the room. 

Philips The Extra

(Image credit: Future)

This lighting is known as Ambilight technology and features on a number of Philips TVs, though similar effects can be achieved using Samsung's ambient light module, Nanoleaf tiles or a Philips Hue Bloom table lamp. 

The beauty of the Philips Ambilight TVs is that they already come with the LEDs on the rear of the TV, and don't require you to buy accessories or any form of complicated light syncing – it just works out of the box. 

I got to experience Ambilight in full effect for the launch of the new Philips OLED+908 this week and was amazed at just how that halo of colour synced to those on screen can really amplify the experience – and how dull it suddenly looks when you turn the lights off. 

It's not just limited to the TV either. Now there are surround sound speakers that also offer Ambilight, allowing you to bathe up the whole room with the synced ambient lighting.  

Although the flagship Ambilight models, like the Philips OLED+907 and the Philips OLED 937 command a premium price tag, the technology is also available on models like Philips' The One, which you can pick up in the 55-inch size for under £550 at Currys

I can guarantee that once you're used to having Ambilight tech behind your screen you'll never want to be without it. 

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.